What you need to know
- WhatsApp's latest blog post reinforces its plans to move ahead with its policy change.
- The company points to its end-to-end encryption as a reminder of its commitment to privacy and security.
- WhatsApp users will receive banners within the app, providing more information on the policy changes.
WhatsApp has definitely seen better days. After the app saw a large number of users flee the service following the announcement of a policy shift, it put that new policy on hold. Meanwhile, WhatsApp has been stuck doing damage control as it attempts to allay any fears and clarify that user privacy is still protected. The latest attempt comes in the form of a blog post that was published on Thursday, more or less reiterating its plans and addressing how it's going to approach keeping its users informed.
In the coming weeks, we'll display a banner in WhatsApp providing more information that people can read at their own pace. We've also included more information to try and address concerns we're hearing. Eventually, we'll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp.
WhatsApp's policy change requires that users share data with Facebook, something that was previously optional. While the app remained free to use under Facebook's ownership, the social media giant has looked for ways to monetize WhatsApp, with the intent of turning it into an e-commerce destination. With the new policy, Facebook will be able to feed ads into WhatsApp, which requires user data to better target them.
Users were understandably unhappy with this change, and swiftly migrated to Signal and Telegram, some of the best messaging apps on Android. In the blog post, WhatsApp blamed a lot of user uncertainty on "misinformation", which it has tried to address in similar posts. The company mentions its end-to-end encryption as a testament to its commitment to privacy and security. It even tried to point the finger, claiming that its competitors "try to get away with claiming they can't see people's messages - if an app doesn't offer end-to-end encryption by default that means they can read your messages."
For those still on the fence about leaving WhatsApp, the app has given until May 15th before the policy change goes into effect. Switching messaging apps can be daunting, but fortunately, we have helpful guides on how to transfer your WhatsApp messages to Telegram.